The rapper, along with Tidal exec Vania Schlogel, holds a Q&A session with students at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. He talks about how Tidal gives a higher royalty to its artists.
You don’t want to single anyone out, per se — but currently we pay the highest royalty percentage. And there is no free tier service. If you have five people paying for music, and 10 people consuming it, then the artist starts at -5. We start at 1. There is no free tier and we’ll pay the highest royalty percentage. That’s how we’ll change the industry…You guys may have seen some of the stats like, Aloe Blacc had a song that was streamed 168 million times and he got paid $4,000. For us, it’s not us standing here saying we’re poor musicians. If you provide a service, you should be compensated for it.
On the discussion about ‘rich artists’ benefiting:
You never hear Tim Cook’s net worth whenever he tries to sell you something. Steve Jobs, God bless, he had to have been pretty rich — nobody’s ever said, ‘Oh, the rich getting richer! I won’t buy an iPhone!’ Yeah, right. It’s not about being pretentious; again, this is a thing for all artists. You pay $9.99 for Spotify, so why not $9.99 for Tidal? We’re not asking for anything else, we’re just saying that we’ll spread that money to artists more fairly. We’re not saying anything other than that, and we’re saying that we’re in a position to bring light to this issue. We’re using our power that way.